Jan Bitomsky (born in 1987) has been working at PROSTEP since April 2019 and is currently a Senior Consultant and Technical Account Manager Shipbuilding at the Hamburg office. Prior to this, he studied shipbuilding at the Bremen University of Applied Sciences and completed an MBA degree after the first years of his career. Bitomsky was born and raised in Bremen, Germany, is married and has a five-year-old son. In his free time, he likes to play badminton, do gardening or work in the house.
Harald Blümel (born in 1962) worked as Senior Sales Manager, from 2017 until 2020. He was responsible for the sale of 3D PDF-based solutions and, above all, for opening up new customer groups in the service area. Previously, he worked for PLM manufacturer PTC. Blümel comes from Erlangen and enjoys motorbike tours in his spare time.
Sergej Bondar started working at PROSTEP in 2002, first as a student trainee and then since 2005 as a permanent member of staff. During this time, he has been a member of Opel's Data Management Team and has been involved in the operation and customizing of OpenDXM at BMW, among other things. Today he heads up the OpenDESC.com team and is responsible for CAD conversion and data transfer in the automotive sector. Sergej Bondar was born in 1974 in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic and moved to Germany in 1994. He earned a degree in information technology at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. The enthusiastic hiker and skier is married and has three children.
Frank Brandstetter (born in 1968) has been working as Manager PLM at PROSTEP's Stuttgart office since July 2019. He is currently leading the development project for the central PDM system at Daimler where he took the task of introducing agile methods and processes in PLM software development. A lot of his PLM expertise is a result of his previous work for NTT Data, Atos and Capgemini Invent. Brandstetter studied electrical engineering at RWTH Aachen University. He is married and father of two children. His hobby is magic – he is a magician that you could book for performances. In his spare time, he likes biking, canoeing and skiing. And he loves outdoor trips, that could also be adventurous.
Michael Buchholz (born in 1979) joined PROSTEP directly after completing his studies in Computer Science at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences in early 2008. Since 2018, he has been responsible as Product Owner for the OpenPDM MIGRATE migration solution and, together with his team, takes care of challenging migration projects. Buchholz is a Franconian, born in Nuremberg and grew up in Lauf an der Pegnitz, but has been living in Rodgau, Hesse, for two years. In his free time, the married family man likes to romp around in the garden with his two children or enjoys extended bike tours. He is also a passionate role-player on the computer and enjoys listening to music. Schlafende Hunde (Sleeping Dogs) by Janus is his favorite album.
Dr. Rainer Bugow has been head of technology at PROSTEP AG for 20 years and is responsible for service and product-related business operations. Prior to this, he was responsible for product management and was managing director of PROSTEP's subsidiary GIDA in Berlin. Rainer Bugow was born in 1959 in Diepholz, Germany, and grew up in Sulingen. He studied mechanical engineering at Clausthal Technical University, where he also earned his doctorate. His hobbies are hiking, running, biking and motorcycling. His favorite book is the bestselling Zurück an die Arbeit, a book about how a great many companies need to "get back to business". Rainer Bugow is married and the father of two grown children.
Joachim Christ was born in 1963 and has been head of marketing at PROSTEP AG for more than 20 years. This makes him an "old hand" in the field of PLM marketing in Germany. He was born and grew up in Saarbrücken, Germany, and earned a degree in industrial engineering at Saarland University of Applied Sciences. Today he lives with his wife and son near Darmstadt. Joachim Christ enjoys spending his free time outdoors together with his family. His favorite hobbies are jogging and hiking.
Paul W. Downing (born in 1966) joined PROSTEP in 2006 to establish the North American subsidiary and was named President and CEO of PROSTEP, Inc. in 2011. Born in Iowa and growing up in Michigan, he holds a degree in Management Information Systems and brings over 30 years of experience in IT and engineering systems. Downing is married for more than 30 years and has two adult children. His favorite activity is boating on his neighborhood lake, but he also likes to listen Pink Floyd and is always up for a movie marathon of Star Wars or Lord of the Rings.
Bernd Döbel has been involved with the topic PLM for over 20 years and has passed a number of different PLM-related milestones. The positions he has held, from design engineer (using CATIA V2 and V3) to consultant and technical manager at a systems house through to sales (for PROSTEP as from 2002), provide for a colorful bouquet of experience. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, the father of one daughter has lived in the Darmstadt/Dieburg district for more than 15 years. In addition to motorcycling and HiFi, his hobbies include numerous sporting activities such as running and aerobics.
Marc Dreesen (born in 1971) held various positions at PLM manufacturer Dassault Systèmes for 20 years before joining PROSTEP at the end of 2019. Here he works as a senior consultant and cloud expert in the Strategy & Processes BU, which advises and supports customers in defining their PLM strategy and optimizing their PLM architecture. Marc Dreesen was born in Hanover and grew up in Essen, where he studied mechanical engineering at the Gesamthochschule Essen after training as a technical draftsman. In his private life, the father of two grown-up children is a Star Trek fan and likes to be on the move: he rides his motorcycle, bicycle and goes hiking.
Hartwig Dümler (born in 1969) has been working as a PLM consultant at PROSTEP's Cologne subsidiary since 2010. For more than 25 years, he has been helping customers with PLM topics and processes in product development and especially in the environment of product definition with "smart" parametric CAD models. Dümler was born in Koblenz, grew up in Westerwald and studied mechanical engineering at the University of Kaiserslautern. In his spare time, the married father of two likes to ride his mountain or racing bike or go snowboarding. He also enjoys watching movies, e.g. those from the Coen brothers, and listening to hard rock and heavy metal.
Dr. Matthias Grau (born in 1965) has been with PROSTEP since 2003 and is currently account manager for the shipbuilding industry and head of the Hamburg branch office.
As Consultant for PLM Processes & Methods and Enterprise Architecture Management he also gained experience in other industries such as aerospace and automotive.
Grau sees himself as an intermediary between subject matter and IT experts, who can explain complex matters to non-experts.
His educational background is skilled worker for machining technology and academical grade of Dipl.-Ing. as a Naval Architect from University of Rostock before earning his doctorate in the field of offshore structural engineering at Aachen University (RWTH).
Dr. Markus Harter (born in 1961) has been working at PROSTEP's subsidiary BHC, which specializes in PLM/ALM consulting for mechatronics and software development, since 2016. As a senior consultant, he is primarily responsible for solutions involving topics critical to the automotive industry. Harter was born and raised in Cologne and studied physics at the University of Cologne. He earned his doctorate researching the measurement of trace gases in the atmosphere. He is married and the father of two grown children. In his free time, he likes to go climbing, skiing and diving and enjoys listening to music – preferably from the 80s. The Boys are Back in Town from Thin Lizzy is one of his favorite songs.
Philipp Hasenäcker (born in 1980) is managing director and shareholder of BHC GmbH, which has been majority-owned by the PROSTEP Group since the beginning of 2019. BHC specializes in (IT-related) consulting around PLM and ALM for mechatronics and software-driven products. Philipp was born in Osnabrück and grew up in Paderborn. He studied industrial engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Lippe and Höxter before starting his career as a freelance consultant in a PLM project at Daimler. This is where he first came into contact with PROSTEP. Philipp has lived near Lübeck for several years. Motor aviation and hi-fi are his greatest hobbies. He is also a big fan of classic cars and likes to lose himself in technical literature on business and mechanical engineering topics.
Udo Hering (born in Mainz in 1961) is head of the Collaboration Solutions division. After studying mechanical enginnering, he worked for several years in the CAD/CAM environment befor joing PROSTEP 1996, where his responsibilities included the OpenDXM product suite. In his current role, he is responsible for the direction and sales of PROSTEP Collaboration Solutions. Initially he worked in the area of neutral CAD interfaces in the project business, before taking over the leadership of the division for data exchange solutions. In his current area of responsibility, first as a product manager for one software product from PROSTEP, he is now responsible for the whole PROSTEP product portfolio and plans the future direction of PROSTEP product family.
Andreas Hoffmann (born in 1977) has been working as a consultant and solution architect for the OpenPDM and OpenDXM GlobalX solutions at PROSTEP's Munich office since 2004. He currently heads up the team for implementation projects involving PROSTEP products installed at customer sites.
Hoffmann is born-and-bred Munich man – he was born in Munich and grew up in Gröbenzell just outside the city before studying technomathematics at the Technical University of Munich. When work allows, he likes to snowboard his way around ski resorts all over the world or spend time tinkering with a Unimog motor home that he built with his own hands.
Dr. Martin Holland (born in 1961) was head of sales at PROSTEP from 2001 to 2015. Today, as a member of the management board, he is responsible for strategy and business development at PROSTEP AG. It is in this capacity that he is driving forward the topics Industry 4.0 and IoT in particular. Martin Holland studied mechanical engineering at Clausthal Technical University, where he also earned his doctorate. He joined PROSTEP in 1994 and over the years has held a number of different positions. He has provided advice to well-known customers such as Airbus, Continental, Eurofighter GmbH, Meyerwerft, Phoenix, Volkswagen and Wabco within the framework of a variety of projects.
Stefan Just (born in 1970) has been working as a Strategy Consulting Team Leader at PROSTEP since 2017, having previously gained 11 years of experience as a Senior Education Consultant at PLM manufacturer PTC. Today, he advises customers on the implementation of the Digital Master, among other things. Just was born in Heidelberg and studied mechanical engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). In his free time, he enjoys mountain biking or playing the piano and guitar.
Dr. Lutz Lämmer (born in 1962) has been with PROSTEP since 1999 and currently Director PROSTEP Solutions. Here, he is primarily involved with PLM integration and migration as well as implementations of PLM solutions. Previously, he was Key Account Manager for our major customer Volkswagen. Lämmer was born in Leipzig and studied civil engineering with a focus on structural engineering and civil engineering informatics at the TU Dresden, where he received his doctorate. Then he worked as a research assistant at the TU Darmstadt. He is married and has two children, who have already made him a grandfather. In his free time he plays volleyball, goes on bicycle tours and enjoys skiing.
Dr. Mario Leber (born in 1963) returned to PROSTEP in 2016 and is currently working as a senior PLM consultant in the field of PLM strategy and process consulting. A "repeat offender" with over 25 years of experience with PLM projects, he also worked for the company from 1995 until 2001, when among other things he headed up the STEP PDM Implementor Forum. Prior to this, Leber, who comes from Rheydt in North Rhine-Westphalia, studied mechanical engineering at RWTH University in Aachen, where he also earned his doctorate working on product development methods. Leber is married with three children and likes playing volleyball in his spare time. He also enjoys fantasy novels and movies like Avatar and Lord of the Rings.
Dr. Norbert Lotter (born in 1965) comes from Amberg in Bavaria and has been working for PROSTEP since 2002, initially as managing director of PROSTEP GIDA and head of OpenDXM development. Lotter, who has a degree in information technology, has headed up the Software Development business unit since 2013 and is thus responsible for the overall management of product development. In this capacity, he is also responsible for software development methods, management methods, database systems and blockchain. Like Mario Leber, Lotter is a "repeat offender". This is because he worked for PROSTEP from 1994 to 1998 while doing his doctorate and during this time was involved with STEP standardization and PLM project management. In his spare time, the divorced father of three likes to cycle, do weight training or go swimming. Non-fiction books on history or politics are his favorite reading material.
Johannes Lützenberger (born in 1984) has been working at PROSTEP's Hamburg office since 2018. In his current position as Technical Account Manager Plant, he is responsible, among other things, for getting stakeholders from plant industry excited to capture their existing plants with PROSTEP's 3DigitalTwin solution. Lützenberger was born in Achim, near Bremen, and studied production engineering at the University of Bremen. Afterwards, he worked for several years as a research scientist at BIBA - Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik, among other positions. Lützenberger is single and in his free time, he enjoys sports and listening to music, preferably funk, soul, jazz and blues.
Michael Manderfeld (born in 1959) is head of sales for the southwest of Germany and Switzerland and looks after major PROSTEP customers like Kärcher, PORSCHE, VALEO, MAHLE, RECARO and ZF AG. Born in Meschede in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, he studied communications engineering at Paderborn University. The passionate rower and golfer joined PROSTEP in 2011. Michael Manderfeld is married, likes to read Nachtgedanken by Marlene Dietrich and enjoys listening to and making music. His favorite song is Fly Me to the Moon, which Frank Sinatra immortalized.
Dr. Fabrice Mogo Nem (born in 1983) has been responsible for service delivery management for (DevOps) projects in and around Munich as technical director of the Munich office, since March 2020. As Product Manager, he is also responsible for the development of the new PROSTEP product OpenCLM. Mogo Nem was born and grew up in Cameroon and came to Germany after graduating from high school. Here he studied computer science at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern and completed his doctorate in the field of PLM for mechatronics. He then gained several years of PLM experience in the automotive industry - among others at automotive supplier Schaeffler. Mogo Nem is married and has three children. In his free time, he likes to play football, jogging and listening to Cameroonian and German music. But no “Schlager”, as he points out.
Dr. Bernd Pätzold has been CEO of PROSTEP AG since 1998. Born in 1958 in Ulm, Germany, he studied industrial engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). As a student trainee, he came into contact with the brand new topic of CAD and PDM and developed an interest that he has never left him. After completing his doctorate, he first worked at Daimler AG, where, among other things, he was heavily involved with initiating the PROSTEP idea in 1991. From 1994 to 1996, he helped set up Daimler's first overseas research and technology center, in Silicon Valley. Bernd Pätzold is married, has two grown children and is a passionate yachtsman. He also enjoys hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.
Peter Pfalzgraf (born in 1963) has been working at PROSTEP since 1997 and is Head of Partner Management. Prior to that, he was a product and departmental manager. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Peter Pfalzgraf grew up in the Rhine-Main area. He studied mechanical engineering at what is now Darmstadt Technical University. His favorite sports include football, road biking and skiing. He also enjoys listening to pop music and reading novels - provided that he finds them gripping.
Stefan Rulhoff joined PROSTEP in 2008 and has held a variety of positions at the Competence Center Computer Aided Technology as well as in the 3D PC (Product Creation) and PLM Strategy & Processes divisions. He was responsible for advising and supporting customers who want to optimize their business processes with the aid of 3D PDF applications, until December 2019. Stefan Rulhoff was born in 1975 in Neuwied, Germany. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering and is married and father to one child.
Dr. Markus Sachers (born in 1966) has been working at PROSTEP since 1999. As Senior Recruitment Managers & Business Development, he is currently responsible, among other things, for developing the business with the SAMPL solution for the tamper-proof exchange of 3D print data. Previously, he was Key Account Manager at Volkswagen & Head of the Wolfsburg office for many years, and he temporarily headed the Strategy and Processes Business Unit. Sachers was born in Bremen and grew up in Brunsbüttel, Germany. He studied mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Braunschweig, where he also earned his doctorate. In his free time, he enjoys reading books or watching films that look at society with a humorous detachment. Cycling, tennis and running are his favorite sports - and soccer, but only in front of the TV.
Nils Sonnenberg (born in 1987) began his career at PROSTEP as a working student in the Hamburg office 2018 and is working as a consultant in the BU Strategy & Processes since 2019. He is specialized on production planning and scheduling in the maritime industry. Nils was born and grew up in Lüneburg, Germany. He started his professional career with an eight-year service as a paratrooper. During this time, he completed a professional education in production logistic at Daimler AG in Bremen. After his military career, he studied ship and environmental technology at the University of Applied Sciences in Emden/Leer, which enabled him to combine logistic and maritime engineering knowledge. Nils is single. In his leisure time he works with wood and goes running. In terms of music he likes to listen various stuff. It starts with Foy Vance and goes straight up to AC/DC.
Nadi Sönmez (born in 1969) has been PROSTEP AG's company data protection officer since 2018. He also heads product support for all PROSTEP products and is responsible for the cloud-based SaaS solution OpenDXM GlobalX. Previously, he was head of the PROSTEP Data Management Team at Opel's International Technical Development Center, of which he had been a member since 2002. Sönmez was born in Ankara in Turkey - but grew up near Darmstadt. After training as a mechanical engineer, he studied mechanical engineering at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences and worked as a trainee at PROSTEP while still a student. In his spare time, the married father of two children is passionate about soccer and basketball and enjoys reading adventure and crime novels.
Kim Steinkirchner (born in 1992) worked in consulting at PROSTEP from 2018 to 2022 and was the product owner of the traceability solution TRACY, which was developed as part of the publicly funded project SET Level. Steinkirchner is a true "Münchner Kindl". Born and raised in Munich, she studied mechanical engineering at the TU there, specializing in systems engineering and aerospace. Drawing, reading, and video games are her favorite hobbies. She enjoys reading fantasy anthologies and is a big fan of the Legend of Zelda games.
Dr. Josip Stjepandic heads up PROSTEP's 3D PC (Product Creation) division, which also includes the data conversion and transfer service OpenDESC.com. Born in Croatia in 1961, he completed his degree in mechanical engineering in his native country and subsequently earned his doctorate at Graz Technical University in Austria. He joined PROSTEP in 1996, where he managed a number of major projects before becoming a team leader and head of the Competence Center. Josip Stjepandic is married and has three sons, who he regards as his main hobby.
Dr. Martin Strietzel was born in 1967 and has been responsible for the PLM Strategy & Processes division at PROSTEP AG since 2015. Born and raised in Cologne, Germany, he has a degree in mathematics and earned his doctorate researching the simulation of turbulence at the Center for Parallel Computing. He joined PROSTEP in 2010 as general manager of the branch office in Cologne. Martin Strietzel is married and has two children. In his spare time, he likes to play volleyball and enjoys reading.
Dr. Karsten Theis (born in 1969) has been a member of the Executive Board of PROSTEP AG since the end of 2018 and is responsible for products, marketing, sales and the US business. Prior to his appointment, he was responsible for sales as a member of the Executive Board. Theis has been with PROSTEP since 2002. As head of the PLM Strategies & Processes business unit, he made a significant contribution to the expansion of PLM strategy consulting, which is now a core component of PROSTEP's range of services. Theis studied electrical engineering at the University of Dortmund, where he earned his doctorate in automation technology and robotics. In his spare time he enjoys mountain biking and listening to music - sometimes hard and metallic rock. Theis is married and has one daughter.
Dr. Mirko Theiß (born in 1973) has worked for PROSTEP since 2005. He is deputy head of the PLM business unit and has been responsible for OpenPDM since 2017. Together with his team, he is responsible for integrating 3DEXPERIENCE from Dassault Systèmes and Windchill from PTC. Theiß was born in Siegen and grew up in the Odenwald. He studied at the Technical University of Darmstadt but not computer integrated design as one would expect but civil engineering, specializing in numerical methods and information technology. The married father of two child is an enthusiastic track and field athlete. In his spare time, he coaches the youth athletes of the track and field team at TV Dieburg.
Frank Timmermann (born in 1967) was head of Regional Sales South at PROSTEP from 2000 to 2008 and was senior manager of Regional Sales South/West, from 2014 to 2020. In this capacity, he was primarily responsible for Robert Bosch, MAN, Eberspächer, Airbus Süd, PAG, Liebherr, Brose and Webasto, as well as the DXM/GlobalX cluster. Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Timmermann studied business administration at the Academy of Business and Administration (VWA) in Karlsruhe, Germany, after completing vocational training in business administration. If he hadn't discovered his passion for sales, he would have liked to have become an air traffic controller. Timmermann is married. His favorite sports are tennis and swimming.
Timo Trautmann (born in 1972) is Manager Solutions. Prior to this, he held a number of PDM and product management-related positions. He studied information technology at Darmstadt Technical University and joined PROSTEP in 2002.
Dr. Steven Vettermann was manager Validation & Verification. Prior to this, he served as general manager of the prostep ivip Association. He was PROSTEP AG's project manager in the V&V research project, which is addressing the subject of verification and validation for autonomous driving in the city. Steven Vettermann was born in 1971 in the Rhein-Main area and studied mechanical engineering at Darmstadt Technical University. He earned his doctorate researching IT security in cross-enterprise PLM. He joined PROSTEP from 2004 to 2021. Steven Vettermann is married and enjoys doing Bikram yoga and listening to music in his spare time. His favorite band is Guns n' Roses.
Dr. Lars Wagner (born in 1977) has been working as a senior PLM consultant for the shipbuilding industry at PROSTEP's Hamburg office from 2012 to 2021 and has headed up the Digital Twin consulting cluster in the Strategy & Processes business unit since 2017. Born in Bonn, he studied mechanical engineering at Hamburg Technical University, where he specialized in production engineering. He subsequently earned his doctorate there in the field of production organization and material flow simulation. Lars Wagner is married and the father of two children. In his spare time, he likes to cycle, hike or read a good book.
Michael Wendenburg (born in 1958) has been working as a freelance writer for PROSTEP for over 20 years. He regularly contributes articles to the newsletter. Following a traineeship and completion of his degree, he discovered his interest in all things relating to digital product development at a publishing house for computer science and technology. Born in the Rhineland, Germany, the father of two has been living in Seville, Spain, for over 20 years. He does however like to spend much of his spare time in the mountains, either hiking or skiing.
Julian Weyer has been working as Senior PLM Consultant at PROSTEP subsidiary BHC since 2020. In customer projects, he deals with PLM topics such as systems engineering, configuration and variance management, among others. Born and raised in the wine and high-tech city of Heilbronn, Weyer studied production and logistics at the university of applied sciences there. Before joining BHC, he gained twelve years of professional experience at gripping systems and clamping technology manufacturer Schunk. In his free time, he enjoys DIY, sailing in the summer and skiing in the winter.
Daniel Wiegand is a member of the project management team and is responsible for the OpenDXM product family. He also advises major customers on product exchange projects. He is a Darmstadt native: he was born in the city in 1970, grew up here, and gained a degree in mechanical engineering from Darmstadt Technical University. He arrived at PROSTEP in 1994 as a student trainee and was hired in 1998 as a supply chain communication consultant. The sports enthusiast, whose favorite sports are basketball and triathlon, is the father of three daughters.
Dr. Patrick Wischnewski (born in 1982) has been working at Logic4Business GmbH, a member of the PROSTEP Group, since 2012 and joined PROSTEP AG in 2021. As a team leader in the Daimler business unit, he is responsible for a project with the goal to modularize product structures and configuration management. Wischnewski is a specialist in complex software architectures. Born in Saarbrücken, he studied computer science at Saarland University and then earned his PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science in Saarbrücken. Wischnewski is married and father of one child.
Peter Wittkop (born in 1970) has worked for PROSTEP since 2013. As Lead Expert, he is currently responsible for the professional management of PLM strategy consulting. Wittkop is a true native: Born in Darmstadt and raised in the Odenwald, he studied general mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt. In his free time, the married father of two loves to exercise; cycling, running, swimming, and hiking or skiing in the mountains are his favorite sports.
Rainer Zeifang (born in 1964) gained many years of professional experience in the PLM software industry before joining PROSTEP in 2018. Currently, as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Daimler Projects, he is responsible for all software development projects running at Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Trucks. He is also Product Manager for PROSTEP's new traceability solution OpenCLM. Zeifang is a true Swabian. Born and raised in Reutlingen, he studied mathematics at the University of Stuttgart, where he earned his doctorate on a topic related to computer aided geometric design. In his free time, he likes to go hiking or walking in the Swabian Alb.
Dr. Carsten Zerbst (born in 1969) has been working for PROSTEP in the Hamburg office since 2005. He and his team work on topics relating to CAD and PLM. It offers services ranging from IT consulting software implementation to customers in the shipbuilding and mechanical engineering industries. Carsten Zerbst studied mechanical engineering at the TU Hamburg-Harburg, where he earned his doctorate with a thesis on "Service Integration on Board Seagoing Vessels". He lives with his family in the south of Hamburg, on the Elbe river he is sporty with 470s and J24.